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Courtesy: Richard Lewis
Thomas Roulis delivered the game-winning hit in the 11th inning of game two.

Victory in 11 Allows Baseball to Split Doubleheader at Cornell

Courtesy: Dartmouth
Release: 03/29/2014
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ITHACA, N.Y. — Junior Thomas Roulis delivered an RBI single in the 11th inning of the second game to help Dartmouth (4-10, 1-1 Ivy) salvage a twinbill split at Cornell in the first Ivy League games for both teams this season. In the first game, J.D. Whetsel poked a two-out walk-off single in the seventh to give the host Big Red (8-8, 1-1 Ivy) a 3-2 victory.

With the score tied at four in the 11th of the nightcap, sophomore Nick Ruppert worked reliever Kellen Urbon for a lead-off walk, then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior Matt Parisi. Roulis flared an Urbon offering in front of left fielder Ben Swinford, who grabbed the ball on one bounce. Ruppert did not hesitate rounding third and he just beat the tag on the throw that made it home on the fly, giving the Big Green a 5-4 lead.

Dartmouth still needed to retire the Big Red, which got a leadoff infield hit from Whetsel. Tom D’Alessandro showed bunt, but instead pulled the bat back and swung away on a hit-and-run as the Big Green defense shifted in preparation of the sacrifice attempt. The strategy backfired, however, as D’Alessandro hit the ball back through the middle, right to the shortstop Parisi covering the bag. He easily fielded the ball, got the force and threw to first to complete the double play. Two pitches later, the third out was caught by Ruppert in center to seal the victory.

Sophomore reliever Duncan Robinson (3-1) picked up the win after yielding one run over five frames on the mound. The right-hander struck out a season-high five batters while giving up just three hits and a pair of walks.

Cornell had a 3-0 lead as Big Red starting southpaw Nick Busto had held the Big Green in check for the first six innings. But in the seventh, senior Dustin Selzer and Ruppert began things with consecutive singles. Two outs later, senior Jeff Keller was intentionally walked with first base open so Busto could face sophomore Joe Purritano, a left-handed hitter. Purritano was up to the task, however, as he dropped a two-run single into center field. Freshman Michael Ketchmark then shot a ball through the right side to tie the game, and a passed ball allowed Purritano to score from third giving Dartmouth a 4-3 lead.

Robinson was summoned in the bottom half to relieve senior Louis Concato, who had allowed three runs on 10 hits over six stanzas without issuing a walk or striking out a batter. Cornell went down in order in the seventh, but tied the game in the eighth when D’Alessandro walked with the bases loaded. Robinson avoided further damage thanks to Keller in right who made a diving catch of a sinking line drive for the third out. Both teams were retired in order in the ninth and 10th innings, setting up Roulis’ heroics in the 11th.

Dartmouth missed out on taking an early lead in the second inning of game one after junior Nick Lombardi ripped a one-out triple into the gap in  right-center. With the infield drawn in, Cornell was able to throw Lombardi out at the plate on a grounder to short for the second out. The Big Green proceeded to load the bases on a single by sophomore Adam Gauthier and a walk to Selzer, but junior Bo Patterson’s liner was stabbed by the second baseman to end the threat.

In the bottom of the third, the first two Big Red batters were retired, but Whetsel walked and took third on a Tom D’Alessandro single. On the very next pitch, Ryan Karl found the hole between first and second for a single and a 1-0 Cornell lead.

Dartmouth answered in the very next inning, starting with a one-out single off the bat of Ruppert. He then took second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a slow grounder to short before scoring when the potential third out turned into a two-base throwing error.

Chris Cruz quickly unknotted the score for Cornell in the bottom of the fourth, driving an 0-1 pitch over the fence in right for a solo homer, his third of the year.

Again the Big Green came right back to tie the game, this time on a two-out triple in the fifth by Keller and an RBI single courtesy of Purritano.

A one-out walk to Gauthier in the sixth resulted in the Big Red pulling starter Michael Byrne from the mound in favor of Eric Upton. Dartmouth eventually put runners on second and third with two down, but Upton got the third out on a called strike three to escape the threat.

After the Big Green left a runner in scoring position in the top of the seventh, Matt Hall led off the bottom half with his second double of the game. Cornell failed to advance Hall originally, popping up a bunt for the first out, but a grounder to first put him on third with two gone. Whetsel, who fell behind 0-2, battled back to even in the count before delivering the winning hit by pulling a pitch between short and third.

Upton (1-0) earned the win with his 1.2 scoreless innings of relief with a pair of punchouts after Byrne threw the first 5.1 innings, yielding seven hits and two walks that led to two runs, one earned, with one strikeout.

Taking the tough-luck loss was sophomore Beau Sulser (1-3), who went the distance and gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk while fanning three.

Dartmouth travels to Princeton (5-11, 0-0 Ivy) to take on the Tigers in a Sunday afternoon doubleheader that begins at noon. Cornell will host Harvard (4-13, 0-0 Ivy) for two games after the Crimson and Princeton were rained out today.

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